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Elliott makes Nationwide debut Saturday at Daytona

Local viewing party at Georgia Racing Hall of Fame

POSTED: February 21, 2014 4:17 p.m.
For the Dawson Community News/

Chase Elliott, 18 of Dawsonville, makes his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the DRIVE4COPD 300 Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

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Dawsonville's Chase Elliott makes his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the DRIVE4COPD 300 tomorrow at Daytona International Speedway.

The race starts at 1:15 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

Driver of the No. 9 Napa Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro, Elliott was granted approval from NASCAR to compete in season opener after racing in last week's ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) event.

Coming off a ninth place finish, the 18-year-old will drive for JR Motorsports, the professional race team and management company for Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's 11-time Most Popular Driver and winner of more than 40 NASCAR-sanctioned races.

"I'm very fortunate to have such great support from NAPA and my team at JR Motorsports, and I can't wait to start racing and make the most of this opportunity. I think we can build something special with NAPA and this race program," Elliott said.

He plans to contend for the 2014 Rookie of the Year honors this season.

His prediction for the season: "We hope to get to victory lane as much as possible, contend for a championship and gain as much experience as possible."

Driving the No. 9, he'll run the same number his father carried for much of his storied career. Recently, the pair took the track together in Daytona to test for JRM, an experience Bill Elliott hopes will be a benefit to his son tomorrow.

"I enjoyed it a lot and now feel like I will be able to provide information better during speed weeks," he said.

Heavy rains cut the first round of qualifying for the DRIVE4COPD 300 short. When the session resumed, Elliott was in the 26th position where he finished and will start in Saturday's race.

Dylan Kwasniewski, also 18, will lead the field of 40 cars to start the 120 lap race around Daytona's 2.5-mile track.

Race coverage starts at 1:15 p.m. The green flag will wave at 1:34 p.m.

A viewing party will be held beginning at 11 a.m. at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville.




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